Oct 18, 2022
By Jeremy Logan
The United Kingdom’s defence ministry has issued an intelligence alert warning former and current military pilots to be wary of Chinese headhunting programmes that seek to recruit them to train the People’s Liberation Army.
According to Sky News and the B.B.C., approximately 30 British former military pilots are currently training P.L.A. pilots in China.
It is being widely reported that the pilots are paid an annual salary of around 240,000 pounds ($372,000 CDN) to conduct the training.
Pilots who continue with such training activities will be prosecuted, according to armed forces minister James Heappey.
In the most recent development, Minister Heappey stated that the government intends to change the law to implement a two-strike rule, which would result in British pilots receiving one warning before being prosecuted.
“We’ve approached the people involved and have been clear of them that it’s our expectation they would not continue to be part of that organisation.” Heappey said in an interview with Sky News.
“We are going to put into law that once people have been given that warning it will become an offence to go forward and continue with that training.”
According to Heappey, Chinese recruitment efforts “in order to understand the capabilities of our air force are clearly a concern to us.”